Wendy Woolfson

Cracked

This is a piece of creative writing inspired by a meeting I had with a friend. She always seems to inspire me to write something with the wisdom she imparts. I enjoy writing creatively from real life experiences and delving into other words and worlds. It’s good to let my imagination roam and to write unfettered and without restraint, which is what happens when I use creative writing. This is from 2019.

 

The date looms in the week ahead and her mind turns fuzzy. It melts in the morning’s dawn and she squints into the sunlight as it presses through the hazy clouds. Everything is exhausting, even breathing, and the effort of being alive. Her heart just isn’t in it anymore. Thinking of the future interminably stretching before her sends her into a deep depression.

 

She meets her friend, a good friend but one of those ones that she rarely manages to see, and then when they do it’s hard to part. Their conversation never ending, every moment relevant, important, and heard with great care. They merge into the coffee shop with creamy scent of cakes and pungent spice. The table is small, and they squeeze in beside each other as windows steam up in the early spring light. Rings of tea on the table roughly wiped away, leave beige smears surrounding packets of sugar standing stiff and tall in a cup.

 

Her eyes have a sparkle when she talks, her friends’, that is, even though they carry treble the weight of her own, while hers feel dull and low on her cheeks like the bags of weight she carries in her mind. And they talk. Her lines are deep and beautiful. Rivulets for her tears to run through. Her own constant dialogue in the background as they share; a fearful voice that chatters, goading her to ask, to tell, to let her complaints rip from her chest and pour sickeningly over the smeared table.

Instead, it’s only at the end when all has been said that time has allowed, and her voice weakly lets it out, “I’m so scared of being cracked open.” Her friend furrows her brow and her eyes turn down at the corners, the lines deepening. The directness of her gaze tells her she should listen closely and it draws her in even as her ears close in anticipated disappointment.

 

She knows that no one can fix her problems but her, so what’s the use anyway. And then it comes; “Not everyone fits into a box and we need the ones that fill the spaces in-between, the glue.” Immediately her mind fills with the image of a cracked pot with the space where it’s broken filled in with gold. The Japanese art of Kintsugi, Golden Joinery, where they don’t throw the broken item away but instead value that break as part of its journey. It’s like a gift, this image, and combined with her words, a perspective changer. She shifts and all she can think of now is Kintsugi, a story, and who she might be; that when she cracks open she’ll be filled with gold and she’ll be better than before. Not cracked and broken but repaired with the gold. She sees now, it’s the cracks that make her precious.